Planting Seeds that Nurture Relationships on LinkedIn®

Visual Storytelling Photographer John DeMatoThanks a million to guest blogger: John A. DeMato

When I shifted my focus to photographing experts in speaking, training, coaching, consulting, and writing books, LinkedIn® became my hunting ground for making new connections.

My strategy? Plant seeds and pull weeds. Here’s what I mean by that:

Every month, I’d pick out 10-20 professionals who seemed like a good fit.

I wasn’t just blindly following anyone. These were folks who genuinely resonated with what I was looking for based on their profiles.

Then, I’d spend a couple of weeks engaging with their content. I’m talking about real engagement – not just the drive-by “nice post” comment, but legitimate, thoughtful responses to their content. And if something they shared was a gem for my audience, I’d share it with my group.

I kept track of all this in a spreadsheet.

It wasn’t about bombarding these folks with direct messages from the get-go (#ditchthepitch as Debra suggests). I played the long game. The goal was to wait for them to notice and react to my engagement. But here’s the catch: if after 7-9 touchpoints they still hadn’t bitten, I didn’t force it.

I simply removed them from my spreadsheet. That’s the ‘pulling weeds’ part – making room for new potential connections.

Did this approach pay off? Yeah, absolutely.

This strategy led me to podcast appearances, introductions to potential clients, and the beginning of relationships that eventually turned into client work.

It’s all about the long game (or as Debra recommends, building and nurturing relationships).

This isn’t a quick return on investment – it’s a methodical, structured approach in an otherwise chaotic, let-me-say-hi-to-everyone-and-hope-for-the-best, approach.

It’s about identifying potential clients and referral partners, strategically engaging with them, and then knowing when to say, “Enough’s enough.”

If there’s zero conversation after a fair amount of effort, it’s time to pull the weed.

So, for branding and live event photographers (or any business professional using LinkedIn, as Debra suggests) out there trying to make your mark, remember: planting seeds is key, but so is knowing when to pull the weeds.

It’s a balance, a dance, and when done right, it can open doors you never knew existed.

What’s your strategy to draw attention from potential clients on social media? Reach out to me and share your point of view because I’d love to hear from you.

About Guest Blogger John A. DeMato: John (photographed above) is a New York City branding and live event photographer. A visual storytelling expert, he serves speakers, coaches authors, consultants, trainers and other expert-based business owners. You can find his website at Or, view his online gallery at